Nintendo UK has admitted to MCV that most people simply do not realise that Wii U is a brand new console. Now the company is launching ambitious plans to increase awareness and hardware sales, including a partnership with Tesco.
Nintendo has booked in-store space at Tesco, will send out a five-page leaflet to 300,000 Tesco customers that bought a Wii, and will even be giving away money-off vouchers for games. The aim is to educate parents and kids about what the Wii U system really is, especially those who own a Wii.
There will also be television ads for major franchises, including Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda. These will run “continuously from half-term to Christmas.” Alongside these will be national press advertorials, online activity, and a promotional tour aiming to reach 115,500 shoppers.
“We haven’t had the sales we wanted on Wii U hardware. We haven’t had the software for most of this year. But we have some quite ambitious numbers, particularly with some of our biggest franchises coming,” said UK marketing director Shelly Pearce.
“Our monthly tracking shows that Wii remains the No.1 console for brand awareness. This offers us a massive opportunity to convert Wii owners to Wii U.
“Interest is starting to grow but we know we have a lot of work to do.”
She added: “There was a big misconception at launch about what Wii U is. And one of the big messages is that this is a new console and a new controller. There are many people out there that don’t know what this is.”
It marks quite a step-up in activity, as marketing for Wii U in the UK has been practically non-existent at times. Changing that is crucial as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One hit the market before Christmas, and Nintendo will sensibly be aiming the new campaign at parents and kids, rather than core gamers.
Only time will tell whether it’s enough to turn Wii U’s fortunes around.